The Board Vector: A New Board Assessment Toolkit

This article was originally published in Fast Company by expert blogger and consultant Alice Korngold. We’re reposting it here because we agree that board development is an essential component of volunteer management that many nonprofits overlook. After all, your board members are often your most dedicated and valuable volunteers.

The Board Vector ToolkitGuest post by Alice Korngold

If an organization and its board are not moving forward through innovation to meet changing needs in the world around us, then the organization is at risk of losing its way and its impact.

Based on my work in consulting to boards of directors, I’ve developed a new toolkit–The Board Vector–for boards to assess where they are and where they need to be in order to develop and sustain vibrant, high-achieving organizations. The toolkit builds on board assessment materials provided in my book, Leveraging Good Will: Strengthening Nonprofits by Engaging Businesses. This week, I’ll be presenting The Board Vector toolkit at the Omidyar Network Executive Forum, which you can read about in my earlier post this week.

Two key factors distinguish The Board Vector approach:

  1. The assessment toolkit focuses on the board’s capacity in relation to the organization’s capacity. To highlight the interplay between the board and organization, it includes an exciting approach to visually charting and understanding that relationship.
  2. The toolkit enables CEOs and boards to identify key elements required to transition a board to achieve the organization’s greater vision.

This way, you can determine whether the organization is stalled, idling, raring to go, or moving full speed ahead. Then, critically, the toolkit helps to identify the factors that need to be remedied in order to transition the board to “full speed ahead.”

The Board Vector also includes recommendations for levers for change that, in my experience, have proven effective for boards and organizations. For example, there are often a couple of board members who “get it;” with expert coaching and guidance they can be empowered to step up and lead a healthy board transition. For the sake of the mission and the people that the organization serves. And to achieve the greater vision of what is possible.

You’ll find a link to The Board Vector toolkit on this page.

Have you wrestled with board development? How could a tool like The Board Vector help you?